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William Colenso Bicentenary secures Dr Jim Endersby

william colenso
a celebration
of his life
and ideas
hawke’s bay
9-13 November 2011
Media Release
William Colenso Bicentenary
secures distinguished international
scholar Dr Jim Endersby as
keynote speaker

With registrations now open for the William Colenso Bicentenary conference, Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery (HBMAG) is delighted to announce that distinguished international scholar Professor Jim Endersby has beenconfirmed to present a keynote paper for the conference.

Dr Endersby is senior lecturer in the History Department at the University of Sussex, England. He specialises in history of science, with particular interest in the impact of empire on nineteenth-century Britain, science and literature and in the reception and influence of Darwinism. He has recently been visiting professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

Dr Endersby’s presentation will focus on the relationship between two friends – William Colenso and Joseph Hooker, Director of Britain’s national botanic gardens at Kew. Colenso took a fierce pride in the plants of his adopted country and was eager to prove that New Zealand’s flora was as rich and diverse as that of any comparable country. This ‘botanical nationalism’ led him to name many new species, many of which were immediately abolished by Joseph Hooker once Colenso’s specimens arrived in England.
“Understanding the arguments between these two friends reveals a lot about the two men involved, but more importantly they allow us to understand how modern science shaped – and was shaped by – Britain’s global empire.” says Dr Endersby

The aim of the Bicentenary is to explore the breadth of William Colenso’s life and ideas. Not only one of the fathers of New Zealand, he is a central character in 19th Century Hawke’s Bay life, so it is fitting his bicentenary be celebrated in, what became his home town. The Bicentenary will be centered on a two-day academic conference, and an accompanying programme of events across Hawke’s Bay, hosted by HBMAG and partners.

Dr Endersby’s appearance in New Zealand for this event has been supported by The Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand and The Webb Foundation.

Registrations are now open and a detailed events programme for the Bicentenary is available on the website.

For more information please visit
6 September 2011



Professor Jim Endersby has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, where he
was a post-doctoral research fellow at Darwin College. He is a senior lecturer in the History Department at the
University of Sussex, UK.
He is an award-winning author and editor and has been a historical consultant for BBC Television.
His book A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology (2007) was awarded the Royal Society of Literature’s Jerwood Prize
and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second book Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the
practices of Victorian Science was published in 2008 by the University of Chicago Press. In 2009 he edited a new
edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species that was published by Cambridge University Press.

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